Friday, April 6, 2018

Twitter Shutting Down APIs

Twitter (MacRumors, Hacker News):

As we outlined in April, User Streams and Site Streams, along with the legacy Direct Message endpoints, will be replaced by improved products such as Account Activity API. We are providing notice to all Twitter developers that on Tuesday June 19, 2018 we are retiring the following services and endpoints[…]

Apps of a Feather:

If you use an app like Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, or Twitterrific, there is no way for its developer to fix these issues.

We are incredibly eager to update our apps. However, despite many requests for clarification and guidance, Twitter has not provided a way for us to recreate the lost functionality. We’ve been waiting for more than a year.


This change affects people who use third-party Twitter apps. All software platforms are affected, but it’s worse on iOS and Android where users rely on push notifications to know when something happens on Twitter.

Jason Snell:

I’d have a lot more sympathy for @TwitterDev taking control of its platform if it had ever showed any ability to create great user experiences itself. Instead it’s been @Twitterrific & @tweetbot that have done the work to make the platform better. #BreakingMyTwitter

There are lots of problems with this, but the biggest for me is that there’s no first-party Mac client, either. I would like to use Tweetbot, but I would use an official app if I had to. If the only choice is the Web site, I don’t see myself checking Twitter from my Mac at all.

Previously: Twitter Abolishes Native Mac Client.

Update (2018-04-06): Josh Centers:

The main reason Twitter hates third-party clients is because of the linear timeline. Why do FB and Twitter like jumbled timelines? It confuses you and they can slip in whatever they want. It’s power.

Zac Cichy:

I think Twitter’s ability to move quickly and control the subtleties of the user experience — including abuse — get easier when they aren’t having to consider third party client experiences.


Twitter says it is delaying the planned June 19th deprecation date for its streaming services. Developers will also be provided with ample time to migrate to the new Account Activity API.

Update (2018-04-07): Janak Parekh (via Dave Mark):

I can tell you exactly what Twitter is thinking, but you won’t like it.

They no longer see themselves as a simple publish-subscribe service—they’ve been long trying to become a algorithmically-curated, ad-driven social network (because, you know, Facebook does it, so it must work). In order to push a single product vision, they must correspondingly control the client experience.

Unfortunately for them, they left the barn door open (back when they were a simple service) and so now a chunk of their userbase uses the product in a way that is no longer their focus. They don’t want this anymore. At the same time, their API is useful for certain business applications (linking to other products, for instance).

So, they’re slowly supporting the use case that lets you have custom Twitter clients just to read feeds less and less.

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